5 Things No One Tells You About a C-Section

By 12:37 PM , ,

Well today our girl is three weeks old which means I am 3 weeks post-partum from my c-section. And boy oh boy was I not prepared for it. I felt like I had done a ton of research on c-sections prior to mine, asked tons of questions of both doctors and friends who have had them, and even watched one on Youtube but I still was not prepared.  The good news is that I have learned similar to vaginal births everyone's experience is different. Some recover faster than others, etc. 

However that being said there are a few things I learned through experience that I wish someone had told me.

Here is my list of the 5 things no one tells you about a c-section:

1. The worst part is when they transfer you from the bed they operate on to the recovery bed. 

Literally one of the most painful moments in my life. You are still hooked up on your epidural and can't move so a team physically lifts you up and out of one bed and lays you on the next. Remember your insides have literally just been pieced back together. It's as awful as it sounds. Make sure you have plenty of drugs in your system before this happens. My drugs had run out. Big mistake. 

The other thing that surprised me is that one side will hurt more than the other side for weeks as far as pain. This is because the surgeon stands on one side of you and that is the side they pull all the tight knots, etc. when sowing you up and putting you back together. Again didn't think about this prior to my section but good to know. 

2. Recovery is a lonnnnggg process.

For someone like me who loves to be on the go all the time the recovery has been a long, slow, hard process. You are physically forced to spend days and weeks laying around doing nothing. They tell you that you are able to drive again once you can get off the Periciot (for me this was around a week), and the harder part, can stomp your foot very hard in case you need to slam on your brakes. What they don't tell you is they want you to wait 6-8 weeks before lifting an infant car seat in or out of your car or a stroller. So basically you can drive but you can't get out anywhere with an infant. They also don't want you walking stairs, bending to do laundry, working out, etc. for 6-8 weeks. If you break the rules you will feel it in the evenings and worse, run the chance of getting your wound infected or separated and having to have surgery to repair (yes this did happen to my cousin). Terrifying I know. Best advice I can give you is to accept any help offered and be OK with take out and a messy house for a while. Remember it is only a season. And enjoy the extra baby snuggles you get instead of cleaning up or cooking. Listen to your body. It will tell you when to slow down. 

Have dad or a friend on hand to help with the up and downs at night when feeding a baby. For me this is still the most painful as sitting up and laying down tug on my incision and send a pain through my side. 

3. You will bleed. A lot. 

Expect to bleed for 8-10 weeks post surgery. I seriously have bleed so much more after my c-section than I did in a vaginal delivery. Was not prepared for that.  On that note go ahead and purchase a few pairs of c-section underwear on Amazon. You will thank me later. As ugly as they are they are the only underwear you will be able to wear as you won't want anything hitting your incision. 

4. It might take a little longer to bond with the baby. 

Again was not prepared for this...I am not sure it is the same for everyone but it certainly took me a little longer to feel that bonding connection with my baby born by c-section than my son who was born via a vaginal delivery. I am blaming it on the immense amount of pain I was in during surgery when they took her out (again not normal see prior post). The good news was as soon as I was out of surgery and able to nurse the connection immediately was there. 

Another tip for surgery that seemed to really help me was to bring music into the operating room. Anything to calm you and ease your mind is a great help and music really helped me. 

5. You may have a flap of skin over your stomach that doesn't go away from surgery. 

Better known as the c-section shelf it is an extra section of skin that hangs down over your c-section scar. Unfortunately I was not prepared for this...the other thing that surprised me is that it is recommended not to do ab workouts for 6 months prior to surgery as you can do permanent damage if you are not healed. Instead as soon as you can start walking the better off you will be. Again just listen to your body. If it tells you enough and to sit down obey and sit down. 

All in all the good news about my c-section is that 1) it got my daughter safely to this world 2) my recovery (while more intense) is going to be shorter I have a feeling than the recovery I experienced after the significant tearing with my son (six months later was still having repairs made). You just have to force yourself to take it easy and enjoy those extra baby snuggles. 

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